<![CDATA[Azarius News]]> http://azarius.es/news/ The Very Advanced, Utterly Cool, Super Duper Azarius RSS Generator v2.34.445 info@azarius.net (azarius.net) <![CDATA[Cocaine alert Ė to be continued]]> http://azarius.es/news/666/Cocaine_alert___to_be_continued/ Again three tourists in Amsterdam ended up in hospital after using Ďcocaineí that was actually white heroin.

In October and November a range of similar incidents happened: three British tourists died and another seventeen people were hospitalised.

The municipality started a large campaign to find the street dealer and warn tourists: posters and matrix signs were placed all over the town. Smartshops supplied cheap tests that indicate heroin.

Reward

No dealer was found, but no more incidents happened either for a couple of months, so the campaign was slowly abolished. Now the dangerous heroin is back and the campaign is relaunched.

The police released pictures of the possible dealer and will issue a reward of 15.000 euro for the tip that will lead to his arrest.

Heroin test kits

The heroin test kits were developed by EZ test in consultation with VLOS, the national association for smartshop companies and GGD.

The test kits are still available in our offline store in the Kerkstraat. Please donít hesitate to come by and ask our staff for assistance!

When heroin is present, the test ampoule will colour purple. The test wonít give any information about the identity of other substances.

When tested positive on heroin, itís very important to immediately contact the municipal health service GGD. Remember youíll not be arrested for the possession of hard drugs.

Read more:

-Cocaine alert GGD

-Municipality Amsterdam

-Nu.nl]]> Thu, 05 Mar 2015 00:00:00 +0100http://azarius.es/news/666/Cocaine_alert___to_be_continued/ <![CDATA[Fighting against prejudice in MMA]]> http://azarius.es/news/664/Fighting_against_prejudice_in_MMA/ MMA? We're going to talk about fighting at Azarius? Yes indeed, about Nick Diaz particularly. An intense fighter with an iron chin, someone who could complete triathlons in his spare time.

If you are unfamiliar with MMA, the letters stand for Mixed Martial Arts. Started with tournaments pitching fighters of different disciplines against each other - think of a sumo wrestler taking on a karateka. Evolved into the most complete, creative and unpredictable martial arts.

Nick against the GOAT

In late January Nick Diaz faced another star in MMA. Anderson "Spider" Silva: seen by many as the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) and returning from a nasty fracture of the leg.

A promising match up, a great fight... followed by a big downer. Both athletes tested positive for doping.

Silva tarnished his status as a legend by using steroids. Diaz got caught... for the third time... for smoking weed.

Cannabis counts as doping?

Keith Kizer speaks on behalf of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. "The drug is banned Because of the damage it does to the person taking it. It could make you lethargic, slow your reflexes, and Those things are dangerous in a combat sport."

Apparently thereís such a thing as an illegal performance decreasing drug.

Marijuana gives you an unfair disadvantage?

Of course, Diaz has a different view. No man competing at the top level of a combat sport willingly puts himself at a disadvantage.

Marijuana helps Nick Diaz to cope with ADD (ADHD without hyperactivity). Smoking cannabis is part of his routine and he has never kept that fact hidden from anyone. "I'm more consistent about everything being a cannabis user," Diaz stated in 2009, "I'm happy to get loaded, hear some good music. . . I remain consistent. "

And cannabis makes you lethargic?

How can you hold on to that statement if you have seen one Nick Diaz fight? He is the most intense fighter ever to compete. And not only during the fights, also in training. He does triathlons as cardio. No fighter even comes near his stamina.

It's really not that bad

Anderson Silva denies ever using steroids, like so many doping sinners before him.

Nick Diaz on the other hand believes he has nothing to be ashamed of (and rightly so we think). He sees cannabis as a safe supplement which helps him to perform in a physically and mentally gruelling sport. And, unlike the Nevada State Athletic Commission, he can back up his claim.

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Mon, 02 Mar 2015 00:00:00 +0100http://azarius.es/news/664/Fighting_against_prejudice_in_MMA/
<![CDATA[Hans Plomp: explorer of the mind - part two]]> http://azarius.es/news/662/Hans_Plomp__explorer_of_the_mind_-_part_two/ Last week, we posted part 1 of the interview with writer and poet Hans Plomp (1944). Together with Gerben Hellinga he wrote ĎOut of your mindí (ĎUit je bolí - Ed.) in 1994. In this guidebook for psychonauts all kinds of substances are discussed: from khat to cocaine and from LSD to the fly agaric.

Did you try out all substances before writing?

Plomp: "Yes, weíve tried everything. Even heroin for example. Of course with a substance like that, you know in advance you really donít want to do anything serious with it. But we were definitely wondering what it was like.

When we started there was little information available: on some substances we couldnít find anything at all. There was only one American guidebook, the High Times Encyclopaedia of Recreational Drugs, and a few scientific publications. The Internet didnít exist. With a circle of friends we tried out everything and described the responses."

The tree of knowledge

"We started with the most common substances. The first edition was still quite thin. Over the years the book expanded and became increasingly thicker. Meanwhile, websites like Erowid appeared. However, our focus is different: more culturally oriented.

We felt it was important to show that substance use is not something of the past decade. It has existed for thousands of years. Actually itís the core of all religions. On page one of the Bible theyíre already banned. When Eve ate the forbidden apple from the tree of knowledge: obviously that refers to psychedelics! The story is about a shamanic culture that already existed and was forcefully replaced by Christianity."

"I'm a bit done exploring other worlds. Currently, I have a strong focus on the earth, on life itself. Thatís the biggest secret there is!"

Other worlds

"My parents are Christian, but it never interested me. When I started tripping, I suddenly entered worlds I was always told do not exist. I discovered that other cultures do recognize and explain these experiences. There are many traditions that can show you the way: Buddhism, shamanism, traditions from ancient times. I started exploring the other worlds via many different paths."

Medicine or sacrament?

"For me, psychedelics are essentially magic tools, you could call them sacraments or power plants. In traditional cultures, theyíre called "the flesh of the gods." Such fascinating names highlight the contacts you can make with them.

I certainly believe they have medicinal properties, but I'm sceptical about the fact that you can only use morphine while dying, cannabis when you have cancer and magic mushrooms if you suffer from cluster headaches. If thatís the case weíre missing the point, I would say. "

Hans Plomp

How would the ideal society deal with psychedelics?

"I would like to see the re-establishment of mystery schools, where people can learn how to use these substances. In ancient times people were introduced to other dimensions during a special ritual called the Eleusinian Mysteries. Nowadays something like that is happening at ayahuasca ceremonies.

Basically, weíre all pioneers: weíre still discovering the usefulness of different herbs and substances and how we should deal with them. I think eventually the result is more important than the way you use them: you can also go for a walk in the woods with a friend, eat mushrooms or truffles and have the most wonderful experience. Or stay at home and listen to good music, or be in silence."

Have you ever had an experience that was too extreme?

"Well, thereís one experience I found quite scary. With salvia tincture, a strong dose. I was in the bedroom with a friend and suddenly a hole in the wall opened. A voice said, ĎCome in,í with a slurping sound. And we were drawn into the hole. We held hands, but that wasnít allowed: ĎYou can only go in here alone.í So I put my leg on the side of the hole to prevent being drawn in!

Fortunately it lasted only briefly. I found it creepy. That's really the only time. I have had intense experiences and difficult trips, but those were always about issues in myself that had to be resolved, or that I had to work through. The salvia evoked a world that I didnít feel like exploring further."

"Thatís the work of psychonauts: to discover the magic, love and beauty of life."

Explored enough

"I'm a bit done exploring other worlds. Currently, Iíve a strong focus on the earth, on life itself. Thatís the biggest secret there is! Of course I still take one substance or another once in a while, but I often happen to arrive at places that Iíve already been before.

I try to find a way to make ancient wisdom available to our times. Iíd like to share the insights of my trips with all people. I'd like to tell them that life has meaning and that cosmic justice exists. That life doesnít end when you die and that it's just fantastic: a great adventure with lots of love and creativity."

What would you like to pass on to the new generation of psychonauts?

"I think our world is yearning for a new consciousness. We need to discover the greatness of this planet and its possibilities. Thatís the work of psychonauts: to discover the magic, love and beauty of life. I think weíre shaping the spirituality of the new age. We are the unnamed priests and priestesses of our time. If we become aware of our capabilities, we can bring the world to fruition again."

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Wed, 25 Feb 2015 00:00:00 +0100http://azarius.es/news/662/Hans_Plomp__explorer_of_the_mind_-_part_two/
<![CDATA[Hans Plomp: explorer of the mind]]> http://azarius.es/news/661/Hans_Plomp__explorer_of_the_mind/ Writer and poet Hans Plomp (1944) is one of the first Dutch psychonauts. Together with Gerben Hellinga he published ĎUit je bolí (ĎOut of your mindí, Ed.) in 1994. In this guidebook all kinds of substances are discussed: from khat to cocaine and from LSD to the fly agaric.

Before websites like Erowid went online, ĎUit je bolí was the most important source of information for Dutch explorers. Up to this day the book is well read by anyone who wants to know what substances he or she is taking.

Plomp, born and raised in Amsterdam, looks brisk and youthful. His living room is full of exotic objects from around the world. On the wall are pictures from different religious traditions: Indian godheads, an indigenous shaman woman and two colorfoul Huichol cloths. On the window sill a collection of beautiful cacti.

While the rain clatters against the window, he tells about his travels, about the place of psychedelics in society and about the turbulence LSD caused when being introduced to the Amsterdam youth in the 60s. How did he himself come into contact with psychoactive drugs for the first time?

Magic and mysticism

"When I was twenty years old, I was in touch with a group involved in esotericism: witchcraft, magic and mysticism. Shortly after the war a taboo rested upon these topics, as the Nazis had been dealing with astrology and black magic. Hitler had been a vegetarian, so it really was not done.

Nevertheless, we were interested. So we looked at pre-war sources. Substances like opium and the fly agaric were already being used then. Nitrous oxide is very old as well. Furthermore, we experimented with herbs that grow here in Europe, like Jimson weed and Henbane. Not a thing you do for fun, it's pretty dangerous. So when the other substances arrived, we were the first to try."

"We experimented with herbs that grow here in Europe, like Jimson weed and Henbane. Not a thing you do for fun, it's pretty dangerous."

Ballet Dancers and melting steering wheels

"I first took mescaline when it was banned around '68. The pharmaceutical company Merck owned a large batch that in one way or another wasnít destroyed. It ended up in Amsterdam: anyone who wanted could have a try.

We had no idea what it was, so we took some and got into the car of a friend. He had an open car, so we went for a ride. Until the wheel suddenly melted in his hands!

We looked outside, there was a traffic controller, but for us it seemed as if he performed a ballet dance. Weíd never seen something like that! So we drove over to have a better view. The cop didn't understand what was going on either. The term 'high' was still unknown. He sniffed around, but no, we werenít drunk. 'Drive on, drive on' he signed at us."

Hans Plomp

Bad trips

"Soon afterward, LSD came to Amsterdam, drops on sugar cubes. Again we had no idea, but The Beatles and The Rolling Stones had used it, so: why not? And everyone went tripping. Just at home with friends. It was pretty heavy though! Some people freaked out and disappeared into the looney bin.

No one knew exactly what to expect. Imagine taking LSD and suddenly realising the world is completely insane! The ordinary world I mean: it was the time of the atomic bomb, and if you suddenly see the bigger picture... some people flipped completely. Fortunately, together with some friends my trips mainly brought laughter."

Shamanic capability

"Soon they concluded we were the ones being dangerous, instead of the authorities playing around with nukes! Of course it was risky, certainly there were some casualties. Nowadays much more is known about dosage, you can read all about a substance before taking it, you know setting is important. We had no idea about these things!

I always say: you should never take anything youíre unsure or afraid of. I actually think these kind of strong substances are only suitable for people who, letís say, have shamanistic capabilities. They can help you reach enlightenment. But youíve to be able to deal with the forces they awaken. If you aren't that strong, meditation might suit you better. "

"I actually think these kind of strong substances are only suitable for people who have shamanistic capabilities."


Provos

Around the same time, late sixties, the Provo movement emerged in Amsterdam. Plomp was involved. What did the world look like back then? "Itís difficult to imagine, but in my youth there really was nothing to do. There was hardly any contact between youngsters. This was changed by my generation: spontaneous gatherings arose on the streets. Thatís where the Provo movement emerged from.

"Some people became politically active, others started a shop or cultivated unsprayed vegetables. Before there was no environmental awareness whatsoever. People became interested in India, in indigenous peoples, in shamans. They started listening to different types of music, experimented with different cuisines. Before we only ate stew! The sexual revolution also started."

War on drugs

"That period lasted five to eight years. Then people in suits seized power again. Pychedelics were banned one by one. My books are hardly read or discussed since that time."


Next week: part two of the interview, in which Hans Plomp tells more about the making of ĎUit je bolí and the role of psychedelics in society.

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Wed, 18 Feb 2015 00:00:00 +0100http://azarius.es/news/661/Hans_Plomp__explorer_of_the_mind/
<![CDATA[Ama a tu amor con hierbas del amor]]> http://azarius.es/news/659/Ama_a_tu_amor_con_hierbas_del_amor/ El amor est en el aire, o al menos, debera estar, porque el Da de San Valentn se acerca rpidamente! Todava necesitas un poco de ayuda para condimentar tu vida amorosa? Azarius est aqu para socorrerte! Hasta (e incluyendo) el da de San Valentn todas nuestras hierbas amor tienen un descuento de 15%.

Nuestro top 3


1. T de los mimos

No hay que hacer complicadas cenas con luz de velas. No te parece mucho ms romntico hacerle un t? Arrmate a tu amor en el sof y deja que nuestros ts reconfortantes hagan el resto. El Jo-Burg High est hecho para compartir. Contiene wild dagga (Leonotis leonurus), muy conocida por sus efectos calmantes y eufricos, y damiana (Turnera diffusa), un eficiente afrodisaco.

Nuestra mezcla Aphrodite mix - el nombre dice todo - ir igualmente hacer aumentar la cantidad de mariposas en el estmago.

2. Informe: sensacin sensual en todo el cuerpo

Algunos afrodisacos se destinan slo a los hombres, pero la Catuaba es para ambos. Estimula el deseo sexual y aumenta la libido, estimulando el flujo sanguneo a los genitales. Catuaba puede fortalecer y prolongar una ereccin, aumentar el deseo sexual y proporcionar orgasmos ms potentes.

La piel y los genitales se vuelven ms sensibles, as que asegrate de que ests en el lugar adecuado con la persona adecuada, cuando ingieres esta bebida mgica del Amazonas. Para usar como t o tintura.

3. Ali lo saba - slo para hombres

En el sudeste de Asia se conoce esta hierba como "el palo de Ali '. Eso probablemente te dice todo lo que necesitas saber. La investigacin demostr que el Tongkat Ali aumenta los niveles de testosterona. Tradicionalmente se utiliza para mejorar la libido y para tratar la disfuncin erctil.

Este Viagra asiatico debe herverse durante unos 30 minutos antes del consumo.

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Tue, 10 Feb 2015 00:00:00 +0100http://azarius.es/news/659/Ama_a_tu_amor_con_hierbas_del_amor/
<![CDATA[Azarius experiences: kambo part II]]> http://azarius.es/news/658/Azarius_experiences__kambo_part_II/ En la serie 'Experiencias de Azarius', uno de los indomables empleados de Azarius comparte su experiencia con una sustancia psicoactiva o producto relacionado con la cultura psiconauta o stoner. En el episodio de hoy: kambo parte II: kambo contra-ataca.

Mi primera experiencia con kambo me dej con sentimientos mixtos. Despus de la ceremonia, experiment algunos efectos verdaderamente positivos. Sin embargo, me result ms que un poco incmodo estar enfermo en un ambiente desconocido. Adems, yo tena mis reservas sobre el 'chaman'. Cantaba muy bien, pero admiti que slo asisti una veintena de ceremonias Kambo antes de decidirse a llevar a cabo las sesiones l mismo.

Para resumir, l no tena ningn entrenamiento real y slo copi a otro 'chaman', que probablemente tampoco tena entrenamiento. Me preguntaba sobre el valor que tenia una ceremonia de este tipo, que me cost 50 euros.

Mi novio y yo tuvimos poco inters en el ritual, pero queramos aplicar kambo de nuevo por sus efectos curativos. As, decidimos simplemente pedir kambo online. Lleg despus de una semana. Cincuenta euros fueron suficientes para diez sesiones: claramente eso ayud a reducir los costos!

Phyllomedusa bicolor kambo frog

A la aventura, y ms all

Dos das ms tarde estbamos listos para la aventura. Result ms difcil de lo esperado, porque no me atreva a hacer agujeros en mi piel yo misma. Mi novio lo hice primero.

Un poco horrorizada, lo vi quemar agujeros en el brazo sin ninguna duda. Ahora era mi turno. He intentado varias veces pero no consegua. Me daba miedo!

Esto continu durante algn tiempo. Finalmente mi novio se irrit: que no debera quejarme tanto. Empez a aclarar el kambo demostrativamente. Comprend que solo me estaba quejando y despus de unas cuantas respiraciones profundas, plant el palo ardiendo en mi brazo, retirndolo inmediatamente. Me doli! El resultado fue un pequeo agujero.

Yo estaba profundamente desalentada, pero realmente quera hacer esto. Por lo tanto, apret los dientes y lo intent un par de veces ms. El resultado: diez pequeos agujeros ardientes. Esto debera ser suficiente.

Aplicando el kambo

Ahora mi amigo quera aplicar el kambo, pero la sustancia era slida. Cmo lo hizo el 'chaman'? Pero su kambo no era lquido? Seria esta sustancia que compramos realmente kambo? Quizs el kambo se haba caducado y endurecido?

No tenamos ni idea. Ahora yo era la que se enfadaba: tal vez yo me haba atormentado a m misma por nada! Mi novio se qued tranquilo y lo busc en internet. La respuesta era simple: haba que aadir un poco de agua. Y de hecho el kambo se transform en una sustancia gelatinosa, exactamente como la que yo haba visto antes.

Aplicamos la mezcla en los agujeros y esperamos con ansiedad. Mi novio se qued con nuseas, como se esperaba, pero no vomitaba. Yo, sin embargo, no senta nada. Despus de esperar media hora, yo estaba completamente harta de todo. Diez agujeros ardientes y mucho alboroto por nada!

Mi novio saba exactamente lo que estaba mal: yo haba frenado demasiado y por lo tanto mis agujeros eran demasiado pequeos. Me mostr su brazo: as es como debe ser. Horrorizada vi las quemaduras en su hombro, que eran en realidad mucho ms grandes que las mas. Decid ser ms fuerte la prxima vez, pero en ese momento solo quera terminar la historia.

Deseo ardiente

Dos semanas ms tarde repetimos el experimento. Me sent en el sof junto a mi novio y esta vez le dej hacer la quema. Despus de una breve tortura, vi a seis grandes marcas en mi brazo. Me doli, pero me alegr de que haba sucedido. Ahora nada poda salir mal.

Mi novio aplic despus el kambo y la familiar sensacin de calidez, calor, sudoracin y nuseas se apoder de m. Despus de esto, vomit. Quince minutos ms tarde me qued exhausta pero satisfecha en mi cama. Tan asustador como la primera vez y tan difcil como la segunda, la tercera vez fue en verdad un encanto. Esto vale la pena repetir!

Al leer mi historia, puede ser que te preguntes por qu demonios estoy haciendo esto. La respuesta puede sorprenderte: Yo tengo una enfermedad crnica para la que la medicina convencional no tiene respuestas. Como hace mucha gente en mi situacin, empec a buscar alternativas y me enter del kambo. Yo creo que el kambo tiene muchas propiedades curativas.

Mis experiencias con kambo no terminarn aqu. Planeo hacer ms sesiones de kambo, en una serie de quince das o ms, una sesin a cada da. Esto suena extremo, pero este tipo de tratamiento es recomendado por los chamanes de la Amazonia para trastornos como el mio. Al fin y al cabo, la gente tambin toma antibiticos todos los das a lo largo de un par de semanas. Si me va a beneficiar, ya vos dir. ;).

Ms lecturas

Puedes leer ms sobre el kambo en la Enciclopedia de Azarius.

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Thu, 05 Feb 2015 00:00:00 +0100http://azarius.es/news/658/Azarius_experiences__kambo_part_II/
<![CDATA[Are you a typical stoner?]]> http://azarius.es/news/657/Are_you_a_typical_stoner/ Research shows that prejudice affects behavior. My father was a policeman and formed his prejudices at the police academy. For him there was no doubt: the law is here to protect us. Coming home drunk after a night out was normal. Smoking weed on the other hand... zero tolerance! I donít blame him, thatís what he was taught.

I wasnít an easy sleeper. One night I thought a little weed would help me. I opened the window and lit a joint. Suddenly, my mom was in my room. I let my joint fall out of the window and told her I was indeed smoking. I was going to get a slap on the wrist for smoking, but at least tobacco is legal. Crisis averted.

And then the detective of the household stepped in. He smelled a rat, got his flashlight and went outside looking for evidence. Half an hour later I was called downstairs. I had to sit across from him at the kitchen table. Between us, on a cutting board with a knife next to it, was my Ďcigaretteí.

My father asked if he had to cut it open. That wasnít necessary, I confessed, there was mainly tobacco in there, but also a little weed. What followed was an interrogation. When I had explained everything properly, he sketched a clear picture of my future as a drug user.

His lecture went well into the small hours. It came down to this: stoners squander their time, accomplish absolutely nothing and are a burden to society.

My fatherís approach did not have the desired effect. He taught me smoking weed was something I had to be ashamed of, so I became better at hiding it. I lured for an opportunity and when it was there I was steamrolling. Lo and behold: there was a definitive lack of constructive activity.

I became skilled at table soccer, my father hadnít mentioned that in his rant. But for the most part, I met his description of a typical stoner.

Fortunately, somewhere along the way I picked up different ways to use marijuana. Like taking a few small hits and getting busy. I call it the George Carlin method, which fits perfectly with the Firefly vaporizer.

Today, I am a father myself. Maybe some day I will find myself in my fathers situation. I am glad that, when that day comes, I can offer more than whatís in the police books. But first I would ask the question that my father overlooked, blinded by his prejudice: why are you having trouble sleeping?

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Sun, 01 Feb 2015 00:00:00 +0100http://azarius.es/news/657/Are_you_a_typical_stoner/
<![CDATA[Azarius experiences: my second ayahuasca ceremony]]> http://azarius.es/news/656/Azarius_experiences__my_second_ayahuasca_ceremony/ In the series ĎAzarius experiences', one of the indomitable Azarius employees shares his or her experience with a psychoactive substance or product related to psychonaut or stoner culture. In today's episode, ayahuasca, part two:

ďMy first ayahuasca experience was not very special. Because many claim their first experience wasnít too intense, I decide to take another chance.

Itís six months later and this time the tipi is exchanged for a beautiful log cabin with a fireplace in the center. There is a toilet unit as well. In comparison with the first time, conditions appear to be a lot better. Only right now itís winter and quite cold.

Are you going to trip from ayahuasca?

A few hours after arrival we are waiting on our sleeping mats in the cabin till the shaman calls us forward. The guy next to me seems pretty nervous. Suddenly he looks at me and says: "This is my first time ayahuasca. Normally I only use coke. I once used LSD, but it was horrible. I do not like to trip at all. By the way, you're not going to trip from ayahuasca, are you?"

The guy clearly isn't kidding and I donít know what to say. The honest answer: "Ayahuasca will make you trip incredibly hard, even harder than LSD," seems foolish. Fortunately, at that moment the shaman calls me. Quickly, I walk forward and take the ayahuasca. If I sit back on my mat, the guy next to me walks to the front, totally unaware of what he's going to throw himself into. Shaking my head, I watch him go.

Fresh air

When everyone had their share, the shaman tells us: "The idea is to let go of everything. Me and my assistant will take care of you." I suspect the guy besides me takes this very literally. About forty five minutes after ingestion, he starts yelling, from out of the blue: "HELP, HELP, I canít let go!!! Help, help my ego. MY EGO!" Meanwhile, he is waving his arms and legs in the air, half on top of my mattress. So, more or less, I'm chased outside.

Outside, I take a deep breath. Slowly the trip starts to work. I don't know what to do. It's freezing cold, but I donít want to go back to the hut. At a distance of fifty yards I still hear the boy shrieking with fear. Unfortunately, I donít realize the ayahuasca is slowly breaking my contact with reality. In this state I decide to walk into the forest on my own - while itís in the middle of winter, around midnight and freezing - and to lie down there on the ground.

Death and rebirth

In the freezing cold, all alone, a journey begins that takes me into the deep, dark and black places of our existence. Many times I experience to die, to rise again afterwards in a dark world. Iím undergoing the so-called cycles of death and rebirth. This is a relatively well-known phenomenon that one can undergo while tripping. The only problem is that in real life Iím actually freezing to death.

How long Iíve been lying there, I donít know. However, suddenly thereís a voice that soft but compellingly says to me: "You MUST stand up now, or else it goes wrong." Something in me carries out what I've been told and I walk towards the hut on autopilot.

When letting go fails

It's hours later, but the guy is still screaming and keeps on uttering the same sentence: "HELP, HELP, I canít let go, my ego, my ego. Help!!!" The shaman and his assistant devote all their attention to him. All kinds of rituals are introduced to help him let go, but the only thing the guy can do is wait for the ayahuasca to stop working.

Totally numbed with cold I sit by the fire. After a while, my trip stops and I remember Iíve been outside for a long time. The guy finally stops screaming.

Two days later I have bronchitis. After a few weeks I hear more often people go out in the cold to lie down on the ground. In some cases this resulted in severe hypothermia. In retrospect I realise I had a narrow escape.

When I was in the woods, nobody was watching me - in contrast to what was promised. And I totally didnít feel how cold I was. If there wouldnít have been something in me saying I had to go back to the cabin, it may as well have ended badly. I found this experience in no way worth ninety euros!"



Note from Azarius: Not every ayahuasca ceremony is the same. These rituals are organized by various groups, shamans and other supervisors, so the quality of supervision can vary. Are you curious about ayahuasca, but want to avoid situations as described above? Prepare well. Only go to a ceremony that youíve heard good stories about and go with someone you trust.

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Tue, 27 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0100http://azarius.es/news/656/Azarius_experiences__my_second_ayahuasca_ceremony/
<![CDATA[Cannabis legalisation in the United States: what happened next?]]> http://azarius.es/news/654/Cannabis_legalisation_in_the_United_States__what_happened_next/ What are the consequences of cannabis legalisation? Two years ago Colorado and Washington state were the first of the United States to legalise recreational use of cannabis. Slowly the first results become visible.

Cannabis legalisation has many advantages: increased tax revenues, more jobs and decreased crime rates.

Tax revenues

In Colorado, from January to October 2014, the state sold just under $250 million of recreational cannabis and more than $325 million in medical sales. In October already more than $40 million in tax revenues was brought in, which will be set aside for substance abuse treatment, public health and youth prevention services.

More jobs

Currently, Colorado has 10.000 people working in the cannabis industry. Obviously these numbers will rise when cannabis will be legalised in more states. CannaInsider believes the legal cannabis industry will create 200.000 new jobs in the US in 2015.

All for the economy?

According to research agency GreenWave the cannabis industry in the United States could be worth $35 billion in 6 years, in case all states would legalise the plant and federal prohibition would come to an end. When legalisation will continue at its current speed the industry will still be worth around 21 billion in 2020, they predict.

However, these figures might be a bit optimistic: some states are still very conservative, and it's unlikely legalisation will happen soon over there.

The current focus on economy can be questioned as well. Some companies already patented popular strains, thereby monopolising the market. Another trend is the upsurge in the sale of cannabis concentrates. Besides being more pure, they are also very strong. Especially high THC rates can have adverse mental health effects. In the current legalisation craze these aspects seem to be somewhat forgotten. Also, it's doubtful whether the economy should be the sole reason for legalisation instead of, for example, health or the freedom of consciousness.

Crime rates down

According to FBI crime statistics, nearly half of drug arrests in the U.S. can be attributed to cannabis: about 40% of drug arrests are for cannabis possession only, 5% for production or sale of the popular herb. Obviously these rates go down when cannabis isnít illegal any more.

In Colorado, where cannabis is legally sold since the first of January 2014, the first quarter of the year saw a 6.9 percent drop in violent crime and an 11.1 percent drop in property crime when compared to the first quarter of 2013.

Contrary to expectations of those against legalisation the number of driving fatalities and the numbers of hard drug use in Colorado went down too. Also, rates of cannabis use in high school youth havenít increased. However, thereís no evidence these trends relate to legalisation directly .

Whatís next?

So far only Alaska, Oregon, Colorado and Washington state have fully legalised recreational use of the herb. In another 19 states itís possible to buy cannabis with a medical prescription. In more states elections for either medical or recreational use are pending.

Alaska and Oregon have voted for legalisation only a couple of months ago. From the start of 2016 it will be possible to legally buy cannabis in stores. Once legalisation occurs it usually takes at least a year to implement regulations and make products available for sale. Thus, as legalisation is a fairly new phenomenon, only in the following years we will learn more about the exact consequences.

Update: In a recent speech, president Obama expressed the expectation that legalization will continue in all states.

Read more

-Students for Liberty

-Drug war facts

-Cannabis-infos

-PR Newswire

-Alternet

-Ireadculture

-Huffington Post

-Huffington Post 2

-Greenwave report

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Fri, 23 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0100http://azarius.es/news/654/Cannabis_legalisation_in_the_United_States__what_happened_next/
<![CDATA[Will there be sniffer dogs on next yearís ADE?]]> http://azarius.es/news/653/Will_there_be_sniffer_dogs_on_next_year_s_ADE/ During the annual Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) the Dutch capital turns into a madhouse. ADE lasts five days and consists of 300 events where no less than 2000 DJs show their skills. The event attracts more than 350.000 visitors. Itís a Valhalla for lovers of dance. Unfortunately, during the past ADE four people deceased, three of them likely as a consequence of hard drug use.

Political responses

Inevitably, such a high death toll immediately leads to heated discussions between different political parties. Christian Democrat councilor Marijke Shahsavari says: ĎI refuse to accept that hard drugs are used massively at dance parties. Because they are bad for health, hard drugs are prohibited by law. Itís necessary that municipality and organisers sit down to talk in order to ensure the event will be drug free in the future. If necessary the organisation should deploy sniffer dogs.í

Green Left faction leader Rutger Groot Wassink believes, however, that drugs and dance are inseparable. He advocates for good information and restoring the ability to test pills at parties. Currently this is forbidden, while accidents usually occur as a result of contaminated ecstasy pills and poor education.

Groot Wassink claims the Green Left party basically has no problems with recreational drug use, as long as conditions causing incidents are minimized. SP councilor Peter Kwint and D66 councilor Ariella Verheul share the opinion of Wassink.

Drugs and dance are intertwined

The left parties thus are of the opinion that drugs and dance are inseparable from each other. Research by the Dutch Trimbos Institute for mental health and addiction care underlines this: of people frequently attending parties 60% occasionally takes a pill, 20% even swallows 2,5 pills per party.

In addition, one may wonder whether the danger of ecstasy is such that its use must be eradicated. Internist and clinical pharmacologist Kees Kramer of the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre claims that daily drinking alcohol is many times more harmful than occasionally taking a pill. He says: ĎItís highly unusual that three people succumb due to drug use during one event. However, if we would appoint all alcohol victims in the newspaper, we would need an extra edition. Without doubt drugs are dangerous, but alcohol is even more so.í

Ecstasy is relatively harmless

Kramers can substantiate his claims with findings of the Trimbos Institute. In the Netherlands an average of two people per year die from XTC and 1664 from the effects of alcohol. Traffic fatalities involving alcohol arenít included in these figures. If they would, the number of deaths would be even higher. In short: ecstasy makes relatively few casualties. Still, itís important to aim for maximum prevention.

Besides testing and good information, itís important that people drink enough while partying. For this reason Amsterdam recently incorporated a law to provide free tap water to partygoers: on festivals there should be at least one outlet per 150 visitors. Unfortunately bars and restaurants are exempt from this rule and the majority of the ADE occurred in bars. Therefore, free water taps werenít at ADE yet.

Drug tests or drug dogs?

In previous municipality elections the Christian Democrats only won one seat, while the Green Left, D66 and SP together got 26 seats. We therefore can assume it will take a while before sniffer dogs make their entry.

Hopefully ADE will take necessary measures next year: committing participating bars to provide free water and placing information booths. Furthermore, we hope the left wing parties manage to convince the Christian Democrats that drug testing is wiser than using drug dogs.

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Mon, 19 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0100http://azarius.es/news/653/Will_there_be_sniffer_dogs_on_next_year_s_ADE/